Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Green Salad with Strawberries & Cilantro-lime Vinaigrette

It cracks me up when friends ask me if I really cook all this food. I’m fortunate in that while I do all the planning, choose the recipes, and make the grocery list, there are weeks when DH does a fair amount of the cooking. But this is the food that graces our dinner table.

The key to having a great dinner on the table during the week is planning. You have to find a system that works for you. For me, on Sunday mornings, I get my coffee and get back in the bed with my laptop to come up with menus, peruse recipes, and make a grocery list. If I can’t perform my ritual on Sunday, I’ll either do it either on Friday or Monday. I look at the weather and what we have going on in the evenings, and consider what perishables need to get used up. This week that included an Italian bread round DH brought from New Orleans, sugar snap peas and haricots verts I bought last week that didn’t get used, and a flank steak and cooked chicken in the freezer. My plan for this week:

Monday – Muffulettas, Italian White Bean and Artichoke Salad
Tuesday – Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde, Avocado Salad, Black Beans
Wednesday – Grilled Marinated Flank Steak, Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary, Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Toasted Almonds
Thursday – Salad Nicoise with Grilled Tuna

And then you have to improvise. Tonight, no ripe avocados could be found, and it turned out that, while I always have several cans of black beans in the pantry, I did not actually have any cans of black beans in the pantry. So we simmered Great Northern beans with garlic, onion, jalapeno, and red bell pepper. Then I made a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette to dress mixed greens and sliced strawberries. The salad was a huge hit, and I’m looking forward to finding lots of other uses for the dressing.


Green Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag of salad greens
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Directions:
  1. Whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, honey, orange juice and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream.
  2. Dump the greens into a large salad bowl and top with the strawberries.
  3. Gently toss with the dressing.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

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